Adding a translation memory to your translation projects

In this brief article, let's look at how you can add a translation memory to one of your translation projects.

First of all, what is a translation memory exactly?

A translation memory (TM) is a database that stores previous translations of your content from a source language into one or several target languages. 

They help improve consistency and speed of translation completion, and reduce workload, by pre-populating your new translation with previously translated content when a word, phrase, or sentence matches. 

How translation memories work in Smartcat

Each time you create a project, Smartcat creates a translation memory for it, inside which all related translations and edits are saved. You can edit this translation memory as well as all other linguistic assets, such as translation glossaries. 

If Smartcat finds a match in your existing translation memories, it is automatically implemented into your new translation. You can select and confirm each match or opt for automated translation results using the CAT panel. You can also adjust pretranslation settings for segments containing translation memory matches to be confirmed automatically. 

Each time you create a project, you can specify a client or department for it (as shown below inside the highlighted purple circle). Smartcat automatically enables the correct TM from all previous TMs that you have already created in Smartcat for this client or department on previous translation projects.

If more than one previously created TM with identical parameters exists, they will all be enabled. The TM with the largest number of identical parameters will become the main TM and acquire Write permissions. The other automatically enabled TMs will be read-only. This allows a translator to use not only the most closely related TM, but also the more general TMs.

In addition, if a TM with identical parameters and the language pair inverted is found, the system will also automatically enable it for the project.  

You can also change TM settings in the Linguistic assets tab when setting up a new project or editing an existing project.

Add a translation memory in two quick steps

Follow these steps to add a translation memory to your Smartcat translation projects.

1. Go to the project Overview page and click on Linguistic assets.

In the window that opens, you will see a list of translation memories matching your language pair and your project. 

2. Click Add. Select how you want to add a translation memory.

  • Create new will open a window that enables you to create a new translation memory. Fill in the required info and click Save
  • Select an existing TM will open the list of TMs available for your language pair. Select the TMs you need for your project and click Add. You can use the advanced search feature to sort all your existing TMs by subject, client, or project tag. 

You can also search among additional TMs by ticking the respective boxes. 

To disable a translation memory used on your project, hover your cursor over it and click the cross icon.

Advanced TM use options

When working with a document, the Smartcat platform compares each sentence with previously translated content saved in the selected TM. Smartcat TMs provide pretranslation suggestions for each segment of content when there is a match of 75% or more by default. You can choose a higher or lower threshold in advanced pre-translation settings. The threshold value can be different for each TM.

You can also use several TMs for a project and save the newly generated translations in a single TM.  Simply select the TM for saving new translations and choose Write, as indicated below in the area highlighted inside the purple circle.


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